Gator 1/2 Iron Triathlon - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Sarasota, Florida
United States
TNT Sports Marketing
85F / 29C
Total Time = 5h 54m 17s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 4/8
Pre-race routine:

DH and I drove to Florida on Friday. We left very early and made it to Sarasota in time for packet pickup on Friday evening. I also did a short ride to keep loose after the 12 hour drive and to make sure that the bike was fine. Then we proceeded to my in-laws' place in Englewood.

On Saturday morning, DH, his dad and I drove to the race site. We timed the drive from Englewood and made sure we were clear on where everything was. We talked to a triathlete doing a pre-race swim and checked out both the bike and run course. We also scoped out Sherpa Eating Locales so the guys had something do to while I was on the bike. On Saturday afternoon, I had a short swim at the in-laws' place and on Saturday evening we went for pizza (Mama's Italian Restaurant in Englewood), my traditional pre-race meal.

On Sunday morning, I got up at 4:50, lubed up liberally and then ate a bagel with peanut butter and a banana and drank a bottle of camelbak elixir. We headed out to Ackerman Park in Sarasota for the race start and arrived at about 6 am.

There was an interesting collection of people at this event. I talked to someone who did IMAZ last year and is doing IMLP and IMFL this year (and he did the world du championships in Edinburgh last year as well). I saw people with Clearwater 70.3 gear on. I also talked to several people for whom this was their first HIM or first Oly.
Event warmup:

Chip pick up, body marking, transition set up, pre-race meeting...
  • 49m 26s
  • 1931 meters
  • 02m 34s / 100 meters

The first 200 meters or so was rough for me. I started to feel like I was going to choke. I was breathing to the right which is generally my faster side. I switched to the other side and got more comfortable. I made the first turn and and decided to try breathing to the right again. Apparently, I do not swim straight when breathing to the right. Fortunately my spot forwards were good and I was able to make a correction before I got too far off line. I continued around, breathing to the left (figuring that it was best to stay on course!) and made the next two turns. Then I was heading to where we started and the sun was higher. I could not see the buoy at all. I could see the picnic table there and headed toward that. Good plan. I finally saw the buoy when I was right on top of it. It was one of the giganto buoys too! The second lap proceeded pretty much the same way, except my goggles started to leak. I specifically chose to use my older goggles because they've never leaked (instead of the new goggles that I'm still getting adjusted)! Again, it was disconcerting to swim into the sun and not be able to see. After passing the start area for the second time, I continued a little further to reach the swim exit.
What would you do differently?:

Continue to improve my swim. This is a big improvement from this time last year. Keep working on it!
Transition 1
  • 02m 38s

Transitions are improving!
  • 2h 59m 6s
  • 56 miles
  • 18.76 mile/hr

Fun course! Scenic, flat, few turns, mostly very good road surfaces (as compared to North Carolina at least).

I had a three fig newtons almost as soon as I got onto the bike. Ate three Clif bars and crank 3 bottles of water (two of Camelbak Elixir and one plain water). I started with the aerodrink bottle and a disposable 20 oz bottle, both with Camelbak Elixir. I picked up a plain water at the first bottle exchange near mile 20. I tried to pick up a second plain water at the second bottle exchange. I said water but got Heed. Probably my fault. It was warmer than I have been training in. I went ahead and had the Heed rather than get dehydrated. It was fine. This seems like a lot to eat but I was in better shape afterward than I was at the B2B HIM.

Weather data: It was 60 when I got on the bike and 76 when I got off
Transition 2
  • 00m

T2 was uneventful for me.

No T2 split

  • 2h 03m 9s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 24s  min/mile

When I previewed the course on Saturday, I thought to myself, well, the bike is scenic. The course was through an office park and around a lake/retention pond. That makes some amount of sense since there would be pretty much no traffic on a Sunday. As it turned out, I really liked the course. There was a tiny bit of shade through the office park and there was a breeze around the pond. There were enough water stations to keep cool and it was nice that we did two loops because we went by DH twice. I had a Hammer Gel just before the mile 1 water station and then again at about mile 5 and mile 10 (always just before water stations). I had at least one dixie cup of water at each water station and often two cups (volunteers started to hand out water two cups at at time). I ran the whole course -- except walking water stations to drink rather than spill. I did get progressively slower during the run but overall I am happy with how I did.

Run course may have been short.

The main negative comment that I have about the run is that one water station was abandoned. There were volunteers there the first time that I passed it but they left and no one was manning the station the next three times I went by (not sure what the RD can do when people leave mid-race. I assume they were with someone who did the Oly...). Also, it would have been nice if there had been a port-o-pot on the run course. I have mentioned this to the RD.

Weather data: It was 76 when I started the run and 86 when I finished. 88 by the time I got toe the car.
What would you do differently?:

Work on pacing. I do well at pacing on the bike but get progressively slower on the run.
Post race
Warm down:

Way cool medal! Jambalaya with gator! Pizza! (they ran out of pizza and ordered more)

Event comments:

This event met my expectations. I was told that it was an event by triathletes for triathletes with no frills but also no "you don't belong here" attitude. I also knew that it was a small event. It's not IM 70.3 Florida but that's not what I expected.

What I got was a small event with a very cool medal and a nice tech T! Everyone was pleasant and I had a very good time. I would do this event again.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2010-09-03 12:00 AM
00:49:26 | 1931 meters | 02m 34s / 100meters
Age Group: 8/8
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Suit: Blue Seventy Reaction sleeveless
Course: Two counter clockwise rectangular loops in a large surprisingly clean retention pond.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 70F / 21C Current:
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:38
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed: Good
02:59:06 | 56 miles | 18.76 mile/hr
Age Group: 6/8
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Wind: Some
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks: Just right
Time: 00:00
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
02:03:09 | 13.1 miles | 09m 24s  min/mile
Age Group: 4/8
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Course: Two loops
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3